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domingo, 18 de octubre de 2020

Cantares by Joan Manuel Serrat



From the beginning, with guitar and bass, you can feel that harmonious and perfect sensation of entering to another dimension ... a journey begins at the same time that the song begins.

Cantares, by the Spanish Joan Manuel Serrat, opens the album "Dedicated to Antonio Machado, Poet", produced in 1969, as the name of his album says, Serrat pays homage to the exiled poet, the also Spanish, Antonio Machado Ruiz, taking some verses from “Proverbios y cantares” from the poetry book of Castilla (1912), the teacher Serrat gives shape to one of the most iconic songs in the Spanish language.

A protest song? A song that expressed the feelings of those who suffered oppression and exile during the Franco regime, as lived by Antonio Machaco himself, who died in Collioure, France and that is why Serrat adds “the poet died far from home, he is covering by the dust of a neighboring country ”.

I came across a review of Songs that started like this:

"All Spanish speakers reading this should already be aware that Cantares is a masterpiece."

Almost like an order, well what else, we are Spanish speakers and with pride we should know the musical jewels that we have. It could not have started it any other way, Cantares was a protest in its time, perhaps unintentional, but those of us who listened it we took it and appropriated it.

50 years later, Serrat continues to hypnotize us when he sings with his measured delicacy voice and Cantares continues to be a symbol that marked an era and remained forever, a musical treasure, a piece of Hispanic pride, and is currently used as a valuable educational resource in the study of the subjects of Social Sciences, Music Education, Language and Literature, and as texts for the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language.

Regarding the musical structure of Songs, it was said:

“The space suggested by the low density of arrangements in the first half of the song completes the scene, to which we quickly get used to it, but at minute 1:20, with the signal of the sweet French horn line, a transformation occurs almost imperceptible that directs the song to a much more sublime place, which is reached about twenty seconds later. This control of instrumental organization is fascinating. The color and roundness of the tone, the bronzes, is fascinating! Serrat's handling of his own vibrato is fascinating. The unhinged percussion, which we might think wouldn't fit, makes the song take on an aura of euphoria, as if something giant could awaken the slightest hint of life. "

The reviewer then closes and I can only say that I have fallen in love with the simplicity and accuracy of his description of the sensations produced by listening to Songs:

“It's hard to believe he does everything in just three minutes - it feels like a round trip to the top of Everest taking all the time in the world to appreciate each landscape. It is a moment that feels expanded in centuries of small feats still without recognition as such. 

Blow by blow. Verse by verse. Blow by blow. Verse by verse ”.

Cantares, the song of the walker who makes his way while he is walking.

We are all walkers in this world, I hope you enjoy this work of art of the Hispanic legacy,

Thank you; Machado.

Thank you; Serrat.

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